The Islanders are in Tampa for a conference final rematch-rematch tonight, but the focus is rightly on just the rather pressing need for standings points. After tonight, tomorrow they’re in Sunrise to face the suddenly very mortal Panthers.
How strange it will be...with last year’s division-only schedules between back-to-back conference final meetings, this is the first time in a while that these teams meet without virtual life-or-death matters on the line. It’s just a regular season game in November.
(Still...the 5-4-2 Isles kind of need some points here.)
Tonight’s First Islanders Goal picks go here.
- Previewing tonight’s game. [Lightning]
- Leo Komarov’s departure was made official yesterday, and Uncle Leo himself posted a heartfelt thank you and “this was my decision” post.
- Dan captures Komarov’s unique legacy perfectly. [LHH]
- Arthur Staple mused about what is lost, chemistry-wise. [Athletic]
- In a long feature aptly named “evergreene,” the Islanders profile the unchanging Andy Greene on the occasion of his 1,000th regular season game. The undrafted free agent “hasn’t changed one bit,” his mother says with pride. [Isles]
- And here’s a shorter version, with fresh thoughts on the eve of his 1,000th. [Isles]
- Greene fit in right away when he arrived. [Newsday]
- As an undrafted free agent, he scratched and clawed his way to becoming a longtime vet. [Post]
- But anyway, tonight: First meeting since the playoffs. [Newsday]
- The Bridgeport Islanders lost Saturday to the Baby Senators, 3-2. They’re in Hartford on Wednesday. [BP-Isles]
Last night’s NHL scores included the Rangers collecting the bonus point against the Devils, and the Capitals destroying the Penguins. Also...what is happening in southern California? The Ducks won their seventh in a row and Troy Terry extended his points streak to 14 games.
- That twerp Alex Goligoski was fined $5,000 for high-sticking Jordan Eberle. Don’t you dare. The league also announced a $2,500 “dangerous trip” fine on Evan Rodrigues. [Sportsnet]
- The Stars continue to struggle, have moved John Stevens upstairs and waived Blake Comeau. [Sportsnet]
- Travis Green’s Canucks continue to struggle miserably, blowing a lead in Vegas and now complaining about “atrocious” officiating calls (including an oblivious delay of game call on their goalie). [Sportsnet]
- Braydon Coburn, who won a Cup with the Lightning and last played for the Islanders (Really! It’s true.), reflects on his decision to retire. [Lightning]